11 July 2019
Diamond wins silver on day three of the World Uni Games
The 30th World University Games began in Naples last week with athletics commencing on Monday. NSW provided 14 members to a strong Australian team of 51 track and field athletes in the multi-sport competition. At the Games 18 sports are being contested by 5971 athletes from 112 countries. In track and field 1247 athletics are competing for the 50 gold medal events.
NSW athletes were strong on the first three days, with Alec Diamond (UTN) winning Australia’s second medal, a silver in the decathlon. From event two until the end he was always in medal contention.
After a strong long jump (7.52m) on day one and solid marks in the 100m (11.20), shot (14.91m) and high jump (1.88m) he closed the day with a little below par 400m clocking 52.05. He was in third overnight. He started day two very in the 110m hurdles with a PB 15.07, an excellent discus (46.52m) followed. After a nervous start in the pole vault he eventually cleared a PB 4.80m. His javelin was not the best with a throw of 48.04m, he then finished with 4:55.59 – just outside his PB.
“I was really happy with my pole vault, that was a long time coming PB – so to get it was great and that was after a bit of a dodgy start to the competition (he missed the earlier height) – so I’m very pleased,” Alec said told Athletics Australia. He tallied 7593 points (a 1 point PB) to claim the silver medal.
Last December Bella O’Grady (UTN) ran a big PB time of 52.38, a time that remained the fastest domestically for three months. Unfortunately, due to injury O’Grady only raced two more times over summer. She arrived in Naples inform after clocking 52.73 in Switzerland a week prior to the Games. After a good heat time of 53.07 in Naples, on day two O’Grady smashed her PB with a 51.87 clocking, a time which was a 0.51 second PB, moved her to 21st on the Australian all-time list, just missed the Doha world championships standard by 0.07 seconds and was the third fastest time (behind Anneliese Rubie-Renshaw and Morgan Mitchell) by an Australian for 10 years.
In the final on day three she placed seventh with a time of 52.27 – her second quickest, to close a terrific individual campaign. She still has the 4x400m relay.
After graduating from Stanford in June, it has been a busy month for Mackenzie Little (UTN), travelling to Italy via a second at the Oceania Championships. In Naples she required just one throw of 57.87m to progress to the final where she placed seventh with a distance of 55.37m.
It was a tough campaign for sprinter Zach Holdsworth (ILL). His blocked slipped in his 100m heat resulting in him missing progression. After a protest he was allowed a rerun the next morning, where running solo, he needed a time of 10.47 to be added to the semi-finals. Unfortunately, the challenge was too great and he could manage just 10.63 (0.0).
Two other NSW athletes, hurdlers Gen Cowie and Abbie Taddeo, did progress out of their heats. Cowie ran 57.91 in her 400m hurdles heat and again in the semi, missing a finals berth. They were her third and fourth fastest of her career – great effort on the big stage.
Taddeo ran a quick 13.49 (0.0) in her 100m hurdles heat to progress to the semi-final. On day four.
Day four continues on Thursday evening.
David Tarbotton for Athletics NSW
Image: Alec Diamond (Athletics Australia)
400m: Gabriella O’Grady (UTN, University of Technology Sydney, Penny Gillies)
3000mSC: Paige Campbell (SYU, Charles Sturt University, Philo Saunders)
100mH: Abbie Taddeo (ILL, Australian College of Physical Education, Penny Gillies)
400mH: Genevieve Cowie (SYU, University of Sydney, Lindsay Watson)
High Jump: Alysha Burnett (CHE, Australian Catholic University, Zsuzsanna Olgyay-Szabo)
Javelin: Mackenzie Little (UTN, Stanford University, Zebulon Sion)
4x100m Relay: Taddeo
4x400m Relay: O’Grady, Cowie, Jess Stafford (SYU, University of Sydney, Dean Gleeson)
100m: Zach Holdsworth (ILL, University of Wollongong, Michael Dooley)
800m: Mason Cohen (UTN, University of Technology Sydney, Ben Liddy), Jye Perrott (UTN, University of Technology Sydney, Ben Liddy)
Half Marathon: Ed Goddard (UTN, University of Technology Sydney, Nick Bromley/Nic Bideau)
110mH: Nicholas Andrews (CHE, Macquarie University, Mick Zisti), Jacob McCorry (CHE, Macquarie University, Mick Zisti)
Decathlon: Alec Diamond (UTN, Australian Catholic University, Zsuzsanna Olgyay-Szabo)